I believe that the uniqueness of the OCA consists in the fact that it is the first Orthodox Church on the American continent that has declared itself American. It is meant to be not one of the ethnic churches of the “diaspora,” but the national Orthodox church of the USA, Canada and Mexico. It is meant to be the living testimony to the universality of Orthodox Christianity. As Metropolitan Kallistos Ware said, “The Orthodox Church is not something exotic or oriental. It is mere Christianity.” So, we can say to whoever wants to join the Orthodox Church: “You don’t need to be or to become Russian, or Greek, or Antiochian in order to be Orthodox. You don’t need to become exotic or oriental. You can be Orthodox while retaining your national and cultural identity.”
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